Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I have survived the snow and the 'big day' but the four days of 'Bank Holiday' are driving me slowly up the wall - spinning has been my salvation in the shape of 800 yards of laceweight yarn in the gorgeous colourway Victorian Velvet from Mandacrafts.

Now I have to choose the pattern - choices, choices there are so many lovely shawl patterns to choose from - I really can't make up my mind! But I think that it is going to be the Calais Shawl so all I have to do now is wait for the yarn to dry! Meanwhile I have been playing origami with fabric - great fun!

And this is oddly named Lincoln's Platform

Friday, 24 December 2010

Roll on Sunday

I was listening to Radio 4 yesterday and the interviewer was asking various celebrities what they would be doing on the great day!!! One was bemoaning the fact that everyone (yes - really everyone) would be eating turkey and visiting families and how awful was that - but when questioned further he admitted that was exactly what he was going to be doing because that it what you have to do isn't it? Well actually no - you don't!

Thirteen years ago Mr S and I gave up on Christmas, after years of providing exactly the day described we said enough - we certainly weren't enjoying ourselves, and I'm not at all sure that the family (parents, in-laws etc) were really enjoying themselves either. So after years of wearing ourselves to a frazzle - shopping, cooking, calming frayed nerves and soothing over supposed insults - we quit and we have never regretted our decision.

We usually spend the day walking, preferably by the sea, or sitting quietly reading or crafting. Food is something simple and undemanding in the kitchen department with the only concession being a really good bottle (or two) of wine. Most years we have done this in our caravan far away from the maddening crowd, but it is increasingly harder to find that quiet spot as more and more people it seems are also getting away. One bright spot on today's horizon is that in less than 38 hours it will all be over for another year - if only it was just one day and not three months of hype.

This year we have heeded to the mantra 'is your journey really necessary' and stayed at home which will give us even more time for crafting - joy!

My first quilting project - following the instructions by Jenny at the Missouri Star Quilting Co

My Romney Shawl - from fleece to shawl - very satisfying!

Another Piped Hobo Bag, but this one is still looking for a handle

This is the first bobbin of 100 grams of Victorian Velvet - it is going to make the most gorgeous shawl

Scrap Bag - literally made from scraps!

And finally my Secret Santa Raffle Prize (thanks Anji)

Spinning Jenny!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

5 Days to New year

Yes really - if you go by the solstice then Tuesday is the shortest day and on Wednesday the days start to get longer so hence me and Mr S celebrate. Likewise we are starting a new decade, not that the media agree with us! I just want things right - unlike the Japanese who are born aged one, we don't become one year old until we have lived a whole year - so no year nought we begin with one - so that means that a decade goes from one to ten and the next begins on eleven - easy.

It's like the greengrocer's apostrophe which drives me mad - I just long to have a red marker pen and change all those silly '''''. Try reading Lynne Truss' book Eats shoots and leaves it is hilarious and I just love it, if you want a chuckle then it is a good book to dip into. I suppose that most families have private jokes and names for places. When I was small my grandfather used to confuse me with the way he would pronounce place names - Barnstaple was one, he just placed the emphasis on different syllables - doesn't seem funny when you write it, but I was completely sold on his way of saying it and couldn't understand why people laughed.

One such place name has developed because of a road sign written thus:
Road Works
Commence here...........and so on.

Obviously the place Downend Major was undergoing road works - or was it? The best road sign, apart from the obvious Heavy Plant Crossing (is that an aspidistra?) was in a cul de sac:

Drive Slowly over Children Playing

I assume that there was a word missing - humps perhaps?

Monday, 6 December 2010

December rant

I hate December, not just because it has that over-rated of all dates the 25th, but because of the wet, the wind, the cold and most of all the gloom. It is the gloom that I hate the most, no sun just dark mornings and dark evenings and a grey day in between - uck.

I am not sure whether I really suffer from SAD, (Mr S says I suffer from him!!) but I certainly find it very hard to get going, and I feel out of sorts, not really depressed but not right. No motivation and a feeling of lethargy. What I would really like is to hibernate, wrapped up in a cosy nest somewhere until the clocks go forward.

That's another thing to rant about, why do we have change the clocks, mucks up my internal clock twice a year and makes not a lot of difference - well I suppose it might in the very north of Scotland, so let them change their clocks and leave us alone. I have spent time in France where they are on the proper time and I didn't see that it made much difference - nobody went on about it being terrible for children to go to school in the dark!!

Enough - think positive - I did finish all my November projects - socks, Shawl and bags - all done! Now I am just crafting for fun not becasue I have to get something finished by a certain date and this has certainly improved my mood (so Mr S says anyway) and I am feeling more relaxed and have started writing a chapter for my progression at the end of March.

Next week I have a meeting with my three supervisors to agree my aims - so that's a real positive.

But the biggest rant of all is over the proposed lifting of cap on student fees - I am so furious that I have written to my MP - never felt the urge before, but I am livid. I am not saying that further education should be totally free, but what about those who went to university in the 1980s and 90s on a grant - why don't they get asked to pay back? Well of course they are the people that vote, so the government can't upset them - or can they? If a university education means that you earn more then those people (Cameron, Clegg and Milliband and the like) should be paying now -that's what I feel and I make no apology - but enough of politics........

Tonight I am hoping to get a flyer so Mr S can make me an e-spinner - more of that later.....
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